Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:42-45)
It is extremely difficult to be a humble authority.
It seems that we learn that the two cannot meet — that they are at the opposite ends of a pole.
I can be kind but not a boss at the same time.
I can be humble but not an authority figure.
I can be nice but cannot be dad.
I can be helpful but not the team captain.
The list can go on and on.
We do not equate “niceness” with “boss”.
We equate “tough” with authority figures.
Tough. Merciless. Hard. Overbearing.
Jesus attacked that stereotype.
He told His followers that if they wanted to be considered the “best”, they would have to be the most humble servant.
This went against their grain.
It goes against our grain, our human nature.
You know what?
We may not like it; but, that’s the way it is.
God does not overpower His people. He invites His people.
How will you respond to His invitation today?
FAITH ACTION: Reflect upon the Prayer for Humility by William Barclay
O Father, give us the humility which realizes its ignorance,
Admits its mistakes, recognizes its need, welcomes advice,
Accepts rebuke. Help us always to praise rather than to criticize,
To sympathize rather than to discourage, to build rather than to destroy,
And to think of people at their best rather than at their worst.
This we ask for thy name’s sake. Amen.